SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation, and Telecommunication (TEATT), Honorable Stuart Johnson, met with key stakeholders on Wednesday August 14th at Sheer Restaurant for a Destination Marketing Strategy meeting that was organized by the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau Marketing and Product Development team.
The interactive whole day session was to share and actively discuss St. Maarten’s Marketing and product development strategies and to conduct an exercise with the stakeholders for an open dialogue on how to work collectively to ensure increase in the visitors’ arrivals and to assure them a memorable experience with the overall product.
"The goal of the meeting was to identify areas where collaboration is needed between our private sector partners in the hospitality industry and the government of St. Maarten through the Ministry of TEATT," said Johnson.
He said, "Through the efforts from his office over the past year, there have been improvements in the arrival numbers, but the reality is that we are still in need of returning to pre-Irma numbers."
Johnson said collaborating on brand recognition for the destination as well as creating exciting offers for visitors when they come to the island will go a long way in improving the overall product offer to the travelling world.
"There is no time to waste as we are in competition with other Caribbean destinations for visitor arrivals and we must rely on experts who have in the past proven to be pioneers in creating the value within our market that attracted visitors for so many years.
"But we cannot forget to enlist the ideas of the younger people, especially considering the increased use of technology and social media in particular to generate attention and market destinations," said Johnson.
The discussions included the review of recent data collected, the current visitors’ profile, targeted markets, the market current trends, and the way moving forward in our marketing efforts and the destination branding to assure a sustainable tourism product, Minister Johnson explained.
An outline of the tourism and environmental awareness programs were shared, and discussions were held on other product development topics.
“Public Private Partnership (PPP) is key to our destination success, with industry partners that are result driven, and who we have constant communication with to assure we are aligned and work towards a strong tourism product,” says Director of Tourism May-Ling Chun.
Present was the cabinet and staff Bureau of the Ministry of TEATT, Small Properties Association, St. Maarten Hospitality and Trade Association, the St. Maarten Time Share Association, Chamber of Commerce & Industry, local social media influencers, St. Maarten Marine and Trade Association, United Tour Operators Foundation, SXM Airport, Port St. Maarten, and the STB Marketing and Product Development team.